Steven Spurrier has published his memoirs: “Wine – A Way of Life”, a fascinating story that begins with his birth in 1941 and ends in November 2016 after the relaunch of the Academie du Vin in Paris.
Spurrier reminisces about the early days of his career working for Murray and Banbury’s in London, AR Lenoble’s UK importer at the time, and how he served AR Lenoble at his wedding to his wife Bella in 1968, and went to the Reims Grand Prix with Joseph Graser, son of Armand-Raphaël Graser, and great uncle of Anne and Antoine Malassagne!
“Murray and Banbury’s premises combined both a cellar and a shop, a rather more sophisticated version of the wonderful but more mainstram Peter Dominic. Bill Banbury’s upbringing had given him a taste for the best – we even imported the wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – while David Murray was more down to earth but liked to discover new things, both approaches being very appealing to me. While we imported a luxury Champagne from the House of Lenoble in the Vallée de la Marne, whose Champagne was served at my wedding, under the name Prince André de Bourbon-Parme, which we pitched as a rival to Roederer Cristal, we also imported a range of wines from the Loire – Ménétou-Salon, Châteaumeillant, Cheverny and Quincy – quite unknown at that time, which I was only to come across again in the wine bars of Paris some years later.”
“Around Easter, Bill Banbury and I went on a buying trip to Champagne and Alsace. In Champagne we visited Lenoble whose owner, Joseph Graser, took us to the Reims Grand Prix. Motor racing left me cold, but little did I know that in 1969 Bella and I would have front row seats for the Monaco Grand Prix, to watch her cousin’s team’s car, piloted by James Hunt, almost win it for Hesketh Racing. I liked the style of the Lenoble Champagne a lot and it was served at my wedding a couple of years later.“
Steven’s incredible book is available to purchase now: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1116799/wine-a-way-of-life/
From 5th – 7th July 20018, Steven will also be part of Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines in Champagne, two days of which are taking place at Champagne AR Lenoble: http://fm4fw.org/members/steven-spurrier/
This post is also available in: French